Bet Against Me by Fiona Riley

Enemies to lovers, okay yeah, I am digging it. Bring the heat, lets start with venom and move into sugary sweetness. That is exactly what you get with Fiona Riley’s latest novel, Bet Against Me.

Kendall Yates has escaped the clutches of her ruthless megalomaniac father. His shady real estate deals landed him in federal prison, and Kendall re-started her career selling high-end luxury real estate in Boston. She has done everything she can to escape his reach. Things have finally started shaping up and she has been nominated for Realtor of the Year. Little did she know winning the award would land her in someone else’s crosshairs.

Trina Lee thrives on success. She is the best at what she does, and winning Realtor of the Year would have cemented her career as being #1. Trina, at times arrogant and extremely cocky, also has a super sweet side. She loves her friends and family and isn’t afraid to show it. In the business area, she is a shark ready to shred her opponents. Trina, as successful as she is in her field, never feels that she can match-up to her brother in her parent’s eyes and it drives her. When newcomer, Kendall Yates takes what she saw as hers, it is on. No holds barred.

The book is sexy. These two powerhouses bring the heat. You know when you grab one of Riley’s books she is going to give you sex scenes that melt the pages. I liked the premise of the book, hate to love is one of my favorite tropes. I just did not love the ending. It was too far fetched in my opinion and I wished it would have gone in another direction. Still a good read, one I think most everyone will enjoy.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/fiona-riley-65

The Holiday Treatment by Elle Spencer

I think Elle Spencer writes delightful books. Her 2018 book, Casting Lacey, happens to be one of my all-time favorites. Her latest novel, The Holiday Treatment, is what everyone needs right now. FUN! Pick this one up and enjoy the ride because this gem keeps you smiling and giggling the whole way through.

Holly Hudson is the queen of feel-good Christmas movies. She writes holiday love stories for Wifetime network. Holly creates movies that give people Christmas cheer, the only thing is, she loathes the holiday. As soon as she can she heads for Hawaii to getaway. This year, she happens to run into her longtime crush, Wifetime producer, Meredith Drake.

The whole book is funny. Holly our main character is a hot mess. She is adorable, witty, and keeps you in stitches. Meredith is 100 percent taken with her and the chemistry is palatable. The push-pull of their love story keeps you engaged the whole time. At times it is so sweet and the other times, well it is super sexy.

Great read, highly recommend. If you need a book to escape, this is it. You will love this adorable read that gives you a ton of fun. Who doesn’t need more fun in their life right now?

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/elle-spencer-296

Two to Tangle by Melissa Brayden

Two to Tangle is the second installment in Melissa Brayden’s, Tangle Valley Romance series. If you read her first book in this series, Entangled, you will remember chef extraordinaire, Gabriella Russo. In this romance not only does the chef whip up culinary delights, but she also opens the winery’s newest restaurant with the help of a local construction crew and their boss, Ryan Jacks. Did I mention romance and sparks, well there are quite a few of them between Gabriella and Ryan!

Ryan Jacks is somewhat of a player. Ryan lets the ladies, and there are a number of them, know she is down for fun between the sheets but that is all. She isn’t interested in the commitment of any type. That is until she meets the tough but sweet newest resident, Gabriella. When they meet she second-guesses all her old ways, the only problem is that her reputation is already firmly in place.

Gabriella is currently creating amazing dishes out of her food truck, but the end goal is to create a world class restaurant that sets Tangle Valley Vineyard miles above the rest. She’s finally creating the food she wants and has found happiness in the beauty of Whisper Wall, Oregon. Everything is going according to plan until she meets the stunning Ryan Jacks. As Ryan’s company begins building Gabrielle’s dream these two grow as friends and then more. The only problem is Ryan’s reputation and cold feet seem to get in the way.

Melissa Brayden does it again with a sweet and sexy romance that leaves you feeling content and full of happiness. As always the book is full of smiles, fabulous dialogue, and characters you wish were your best friends. You don’t have to read the first in the series to dive into this one, but I would recommend it. Trust me, read everything by Brayden, you will not be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/melissa-brayden-166-a

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Hopeless Romantic by Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers, I cannot thank you enough for the adorable books you write. We are busy, and we are stressed. 2020 has been a doozy of a year for us all. It takes books like Hopeless Romantic to make the world a little better, and for a short time a little more peaceful. Diving into a good book makes the stresses of the world fall away. So I thank you Georgia Beers for a delightful book that made all seem right in the world for just a little bit.

The book begins by introducing us to wedding planner, Teddi Baker. Teddi has just begun rebounding both professionally and personally for a disaster of a marriage that wrecked both her heart and her income. While she can plan the most epic wedding for her clients, she no longer believes in happily ever after.

Leah Scott is a successful divorce attorney who is helping her younger sister plan her perfect day. Leah wants to give her sister the wedding of her dreams. Upon arriving at the wedding planner’s office, she is immediately smitten with Teddi Baker. Sparks fly between these two ladies instantly. That is until Ms. Baker relieves that Leah is the attorney who helped her ex-wife take everything she had worked so hard to build.

The story is fun, witty, and has enough angst to keep you hooked. I loved that Beers was able to build the tension and keep the sparks between the two mains flying throughout the books. Hopeless Romantic makes you a smile and warms your heart. This is the perfect combination for a much needed escape on a chilly fall day.

3.25 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/georgia-beers-10

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No After You by Nicole Pyland

Every book I read, I am hoping it will be one of those big ones that stay with you. You know the ones, the books that as soon as you finish it, you want to read it again. I love a good book but I am always on the hunt for a great one. Thanks to Nicole Pyland I found a great one. No After You is an amazing read. This is one I have read once and no without a doubt I will read again.

Peyton Gloss is a mega superstar. Think T-Swift big. She is performing one night at a charity function and meets supermodel Dani Wilder. From the moment these two meet there are sparks and there is chemistry. It jumps off the page, you know it, they know it and it makes for one hell of a good story. One big problem, Dani is currently dating a tech mogul, named Steven. As much a Peyton wishes for more, she becomes Dani’s friend.

What you get is a slow burn, friends to lover romance that sweet and sexy. I had no expectations going in but let me tell you loved every dang page. This one was soooo good. I cannot recommend this one enough. I am new to Nicole Pyland’s work but not for long I am ready to binge read all her stuff.

5 out of 5 Stars

The Other Women by Erin Zak

I think this is one of those times where a good book just missed the mark with a certain reader, me. It is by no means a bad book, you wont’ see me review those. I am not here to annihilate someone’s work. I know that a writer pours their heart and soul into their art, some books resonate, some don’t. Sure there are issues sometimes, but no one needs me to dissect their book. I am by no means qualified. If I review it and post it, its a good book worthy of your time. You can decide if you love it, like it or go WTF Tiff.

The background of The Other Women is that Cecily Yates loves her husband, but loves him as a friend, not as a partner or a lover. She loves her mistress, Willow Carmichael. Willow has moved to Las Vegas and when the book begins Cecily has a work meeting that she must travel out to Sin City. This is her chance to meet up with the woman she has been pining for. Willow and Cecily don’t rekindle their love, something is missing. Confused and frustrated Cecily, by chance befriends Willow’s former lover (no one knows that yet though), bartender, Francesca Lopez.

There is a lot going on here and it moves fast. No one is really over the other person. It’s messy as life is sometimes. Francesca and Cecily have chemistry, there is no doubt about it. When they first meet and have long soulful talks, to me that is the best part of the book. Where it derails, is the immaturity of the characters. Francesca is cool, but Cecily and Willow are not. They both were less than impressive. That is where the problem lies, as a reader I did not like a main character. You are supposed to not like Willow, but to have a main that is less that redeemable that is an issue. It’s not that she is a cheater, you know that going in, its that she is pretty much an immature jerk.

Like I said earlier, I think this one is going to come down to this not being the book for me. It could totally be the one for you. Erin Zak writes good books, The Road Home is an absolutely stunning read. So if you are intrigued give it a chance. Let me know what you think.

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/erin-zak-276

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Finding Jessica Lambert by Clare Ashton

You are going to want to read this one if you haven’t already. It truly is a fantastic read. Clare Ashton has given us a book that is thoughtful, romantic, well paced, multi-layered book. All in all this one is a delight to wrap yourself up in and escape.

When the book begins we are introduced to Jessica Lambert in the middle of a full blow panic attack. She cannot escape her current situation and is paralyzed by the uncertainty around her when a kind stranger, Anna Mayhew, comes to her rescue. You see Jess is a world famous actress who is in the middle of her new movie’s promotional tour. The pressure is overwhelming and she is exhausted by the lifestyle.

Anna sees the younger women in distress and recognizes the signs of her fear and distress immediately. Believing that Jess is running from a stalker, Anna steps in and gives her a place to just be. They become friends, enjoying the company of one another and the more time they spend together the feelings become stronger.

Of course their are bumps along the way, I won’t spoil them for you by going into detail. Remember how I said this book was multi-layered. As Ashton peels one away, you find another one that makes the plot that much richer. Like a glass of fine wine, this is one you sit back and enjoy. Let the story carry you. So good, I highly recommend!

4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Jessica-Lambert-Clare-Ashton-ebook/dp/B08B4YL21R

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Best Practice by Carsen Taite

A Legal Affairs Romance

This one is the third and final installment of Taite’s Legal Affairs series. This is a series I have thoroughly enjoyed and this third book was the one I was most excited. If you haven’t read the previous two books, you are definitely going to want to start this series in order. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one.

Perry Clark is the little sister to Campbell, and the is the rebel of the Clark family. She has chosen to spend her time abroad as a non-profit lawyer for Lawyers for Change. In the dead of night Perry and her co-workers must flee Crimea. The Crimean government is set to arrest them for helping a journalist who has been arrested for decrying the injustices the the country has inflicted upon its people. Perry in her hurry to leave, loses her passport and credentials and needs her sister’s help to rectify the matter.

Grace Maldonado is set to take her long awaited vacation. She’s been working her tail off to get their new law firm up and running and its finally time to rest and relax. Right before she is set to go on her trip, Campbell drops the bomb about Perry being without a passport, money and illegally in London. Grace has the time so she rushes to save the day and grabs the fist flight across the Atlantic to help out the younger sister she still remembers fondly.

Perry has always had a thing for Grace. She has been crushing on her since she was a teen. Unfortunately Grace has never seen her as anything but a kid. Perry’s crush comes back in full force as soon as she meets up her sister’s best friend. These two strong ladies have an amazing time enjoying London. The fun must end as they head back to Austin. Perry feels the force of longing for more with Grace, but also being labeled as the kid sister and Grace feels guilty for feeling more than she should for Campbell’s sibling.

I have liked all the books in the Legal Affairs series. As excited as I was for this one, I felt like it was missing something. More than anything this book needed some angst and longing. Give me more feels! There as so much potential here and it just needed a bit more. Don’t get me wrong this is a good book, Carsen Taite always delivers. I just wanted a bit more to put this book from the good to great category.

3 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/best-practice-by-carsen-taite-3374-b

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Kick Back by KJ

I have never read anything by KJ before June of 2020. Well let me tell you what, I will not pass this author by again. Kick Back was a fantastic read. I was utterly charmed by the story and it’s two leading ladies.

KJ takes us into the world of women’s Australian Football League. If you are a sport’s fan like me and follow any US women’s professional league (NWSL, WNBA, NWHL…) you will real understated the backdrop of the story well. Little to no pay, crap facilitates, little to no media coverage and using sex instead of skill to sell the brand.

Sophia Lindstrom is one of South Melbourne’s star players. Sophia works full time as the co-owner of an upscale high-end food and wine boutique. She spends the rest of her time training to be the best athlete she can be. Sophie suffers from anxiety and the fear that anyone she loves will eventually leave. This leaves her permanently single and only engaging in casual superficial relationships. Her focus is on work, her community and making sure South Melbourne wins.

Cam Weathers is a journalist for a less that reputable newspaper, The Post. Cam has big dreams of being an investigative journalist but right now to pay her bills as staff writer. Cam’s latest assignment is to write puff pieces on the women of the AFL. Her editor doesn’t want her to write about sports, or the sacrifices these women make only about their skin care routines and other mindless crap.

Cam and Sophia butt heads immediately. Sophia does not appreciate Cam’s approach to the sport and Cam sure as hell doesn’t appreciate Sophia’s commentary on her profession. As these two get to know each other, dislike turns to like and a friendship with an underlying attraction develops. This is a slow burn romance that keeps you hanging on to every word.

KJ has written a superb book. The plot is multi-faceted, the story well developed, and the pacing is perfect. I loved the characters. Cam and Sophia are strong, yet vulnerable. Their romance is just about as sweet as you can get. You felt the love and attraction these two had for each other well before it was spoken.

I love a slow burn, so this one just spoke to me. I cannot recommend this book enough. So so good!

5 out of 5 stars

Kick Back by [K J]

Before You Say I Do by Clare Lydon

Clare Lydon always delivers a damned good read. I appreciate that she delivers humor, dynamic characters, relatable dialogue, happiness and fun. You have to love a book that leaves you with a smile and a heart full of joy. Before You Say I Do is one of Lydon’s best works to date. I was hooked on this book and could not put it down to the end.

Jordan Cohen is a professional bridesmaid. Yes, this is a thing y’all. She delivers a service to her brides that makes everyone look and feel good. She helps with wedding preparations, acts a psychologist, mediator and best friend to her clients. Jordan’s goal is for the wedding to go off without a hitch, and make the bride love every minute leading up to the big day. she has thrown herself into her work, and has left very little time to find true love.

Abby Porter has settled on marrying her best friend, Marcus. She adores him, and figures the passion will come later. Abby, like Jordan spends most of her time working. She isn’t particularity happy wit her career, but she is very successful and good at what she does. Marcus, the fiance, hires Jordan to help Abby finish out the wedding plans, as he she’s she is too busy with . He sees that she is more focused on her work to really be bothered with the details of the big day.

Jordan and Abby have chemistry for days. Their heat jumps right off the page from the get go. Lydon gives us sexiness and tension as these two leading ladies get to know each other better. I loved how the angst really built up as both Jordan and Abby wanted more but could not because Abby was engaged.

This is a fun and dynamic read that I just adored. As always, Clare Lydon, delivers a great read.

4.25 out of 5 stars